This experiment, blogging a few times per day with little updates, didn’t go like I expected. I anticipated doing something a little more like what Warren Ellis does, obviously, but I never blogged the little doses of links and news that he does, for a couple of reasons. Some of them are better than others, but off the top of my head, here they are:
I assume you already know.
You’re connected. You read the Internet. What am I going to do, hit you with a dollop of entertainment news I got from CHUD or something I was alerted to via Google news? (I have a Google alert set up for the words “Tracy Jordan +ridiculous +disaster,” as you know.) You read all that stuff already, if you want to. I simply don’t think of myself on being on the cutting edge of Internet news, so I’m slow to share with you things that I find online because, more often than not, I figure if I’ve seen it, you have, too. I’ll post it when I have something more to comment on about it. Which is maybe less likely than it used to be, because…
I’m trying to be politically neutral.
It’s tricky to do lately, but I’m trying not to add muck to the Internet political landscape. I don’t see how me mouthing off about politics is going to do anything but cut away at my number of readers, so I politely keep my mouth shut. It’s not like I’m so informed, anyway. I’d rather not contribute to that background noise and I’m not sure my message constitutes a signal. For what it’s worth, my politics are in flux, anyway — I’m constantly reforming my opinions based on the newest tomfoolery.
I try not to post images without attribution.
A lot of the funny gags and things I get sent to me in emails and junk aren’t attributed, so I don’t post them here. (Warren Ellis has things sent directly to him by a friendly orbiting host of creative types, so his pictures tend to come with attributions already.) On Tumblr, where the de facto truth is that images will circulate, I sometimes bend this rule, but I prefer to aim credit where it’s due.
(By the way, I may try this broadcasting experiment over on Tumblr in a future week. You check that thing now and again, right?)
My work is often not my own.
A lot of my time and headspace is dedicated to projects that do not belong to me, leaving me unable to talk much about the work I’m doing. Warren Ellis works often (mostly?) on creator-owned projects, so he can share teasers and allude to what he’s working on or even share the things that are currently inspiring him. I often can’t do that because it might hint at this or that NDA’d project that doesn’t belong to me. So a lot of things I would blog about, I don’t. So it goes.
I save up posts for elsewhere.
Since I’m trying to write for a living (and I have an update on that, maybe, in the future), I have to consider every piece of writing that I give away. If I think I might be able to get a magazine article or paying essay out of a post, I shelve it. If I think it might fit better at Gameplaywright, where I post my general and specific gaming material, that’s where it ends up. It’s not that what I post here is worth gold, but it is true that the time I spend posting here is time I’m not spending working on something else. I’d like to post more of substance here, but when I’m writing without a chance of pay, I feel guilty — like I should be working. When I finish my novel and am trying to promote myself more as a writer, then I’ll have good reason to post more here, and write more like Chuck Wendig does, with daily updates.
It doesn’t seem that effective.
I didn’t net many extra hits or readers this week, near as I can tell. (Some metrics aren’t in yet.) Worse, I don’t think the extra posting volume did much to entertain anyone, which means it was probably time wasted. Live and learn. Perhaps I’ll try a few more broadcast weeks in the future, to see if there’s a change over time, but for the next few weeks I’ll just be too busy to keep this up.
I imagine it’s easier for Mr. Ellis to blog throughout the day because he has a steady feed of compelling, surprising, alarming material coming into his inbox — I also imagine it’s hard for him to get anything done with that steady feed of distractions coming into his inbox. I certainly don’t want to make it sound like he’s got it easy. I can only imagine how taxing it must be for him to juggle so many projects and maintain momentum. I have, as counted last night, eight live projects — including the likes of The Bones, Razed and Eternal Lies — right now and they are, collectively, a handful. Cheers to Mr. Ellis for juggling and blogging at the same time.
So. There that is. Be seeing you.